Bhubaneswar: In the wake of the devastating fire in the SUM Hospital, the Odisha government has decided to strengthen fire safety measures in all technical education institutes and skill development centres in the state.
In a letter to the Vice Chancellors of Biju Patnaik University of Technology (BPUT) and Veer Surendra Sai University of Technology (VSSUT), Director, Technical Education & Training, Director, Employment & State Employment Mission, Director, Indira Gandhi Institute of Technology (IGIT) and Vice Chairman, State Council for Technical Education & Vocational Training (SCTE&VT) on October 31 this year, commissioner-cum-secretary, Skill Development & Technical Education, Sanjay Kumar Singh, said it is observed that though, there are specific guidelines for implementation of fire safety measures in all educational institutions including engineering colleges, polytechnics and ITIs, in number of cases the same is being not followed meticulously. The old fire-fighting instruments installed at some places have not been updated and the fire extinguishers are not refilled timely.
“Hence, it is requested that an institution-wise analysis of fire safety measures taken by all such technical institutions may be made at your level and full-proof fire safety measures must be ensured in all the educational and skill training institutions under your control to avoid any untoward incident in future,” Singh had said in his letter.
Talking to media persons here today, Technical Education minister Sanjay Dasburma said the authorities of these institutes will have to ensure that the existing fire fighting systems are in order and take necessary steps to make the defunct systems operational.
Asked about the directive of the state government, Binod Das, secretary, Odisha Private Engineering College Association (OPECA), said the Association has welcomed the decision and concern of the state government in this regard.
“In fact, all technical education institutes have their own fire safety systems. After receiving the letter from the Skill Development and Technical Education department, the institute whose fire safety certificate has expired in the meanwhile, can get it renewed immediately. Besides, these institutes will be more careful from now on after the tragic fire mishap in SUM Hospital,” he added.
Welcoming the decision, Sudhanshu Sekhar Pradhan, a BPUT student said the authorities of all colleges and universities should strictly abide by the directive of the state government for the safety of the students. “In my opinion there should be a seminar on fire safety in all technical institutes,” he noted.